At its heart, India is a rural Country. As per the Census Data 2011, there are more than 600,000 villages in India. Hence, to realise the dream of a developed India rural development will play a crucial role. Rural development includes improved infrastructure, access to better education facilities, rural economic growth and provision of essential amenities. For all of this to happen latest and greatest of communication, agricultural, health and hygiene should reach these villages. But they should not be forced. They should be per the wishes of the villagers.
This is because village life is fundamentally different from that of city life. It is more coherent and friendlier than city life. Thankfully the villages are not being dismissed or ignored by the GOI (Government of India). GOI and many non- profit organisation are taking very initiatives to better-incorporating technology into the rural life. Let’s have a look at some of these initiatives.
E-Seva was an initiative that was launched by the government of Andhra Pradesh with the aim “one-stop non-stop service”. The government took a unified approach combining state and central departments for ease of the citizens. E-Seva is supposed to be a one-stop destination for services like eForms, ePayments. Users can pay bills, check the Transport services and get issued certificates. There are around 51 eSeva centres with 400 service counters.
2) eNAM (National Agricultural Market)
In April 2016, the Modi government launched the eNAM (National Agriculture Market). This is an online platform for farmers that places various agricultural markets in a single place, allowing farmers and also traders to access all the Agriculture Produce Market Committee-related news and information and also buy and sell trade offers. In short, helping farmers bid for the best prices across markets and make the most out of their produce.
3) Digital India
Digital India’s extensions the Common Services Centres, are used to provide access points for delivery of various electronic services to villages in an attempt to encourage the culture of rural entrepreneurship, and offering an approach to the idea of social change, notably among the rural citizens. New technologies will enable the financially weak farmers to move from the input-intensive to a knowledge-intensive form of agriculture. This can allow an improvement over the timeliness of planting, securing the best market prices and providing the fertiliser subsidies via direct transfers that eliminate the role of any financial intermediaries. Combined with the improved seed supply and land and water management, the farmer’s income will grow
The Karnataka Government initiated an online project titled “Bhoomi” making management and delivery of land records a breeze for the citizens. The project handles nearly 20 million rural land records owned by almost 6.7 million rural citizens without an ounce of corruption. The plan is operational throughout the state. The project offers two basics services to landowners. The first one being the procurement of land records and the other being changes to the land title. To ensure security and authenticity A Biometric Finger Authentication system is placed.
Drishtee was created using state of the art technologies to help the farmers the farmers by providing them information and access to various government schemes and benefits, the latest news regarding price information in the market, and also the exchange of private information
With such brilliant and creative e-initiatives, many of the challenges don’t seem that daunting anymore. Rural development is possible at a phenomenal rate with the right use of Science and Technology. In the future, similar schemes can be implemented in the fields of rural health care, in rural governance etc.
There are many other projects in addition to the ones mentioned above. But there is one thing that we must understand that there are limits to technology or instead of its implementation for improvement of lives.
There is no substitute for the traditional investments to improve the lagging behind infrastructures. We can provide all the websites and online resources for people to use, but if they are not educated enough to use it well, then it is no good.
I am a sophomore at IIT Roorkee currently pursuing my B.tech in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering.